on july 22, 2014, a fire destroyed half of a school campus in los angeles. four years after this tragic event, the school has been completely rebuilt. brooks + scarpa reimagined the old campus by creating a new structure that now houses 630 students. facilities are spread across an elongated yellow building that curves to form a courtyard. the site contains more than eleven classrooms, two science labs and other various activity spaces, all filled with light to make the school more pleasant for its students and educators. 


image © tara wujcik (also main image)

 

 

animo south los angeles high school is a progressive, public charter high school. it is well known for its focus on community connection. the architects explain that the new building and addition to the 1950’s campus ‘creates a flexible teaching environment that supports significant parental involvement, puts student life at the center of the school and unites the campus community.’ the design required the careful integration of security and protection elements to keep students and staff safe from ongoing problems in surrounding neighborhood. 


image © tara wujcik

 

 

the school is located in a tough part of south central los angeles, where 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. in this area, crime is not uncommon, owing the school its 20-foot-high perforated bullet resistant metal walls. this feature was integrated into the building’s design without distracting from its form. the courtyard allows the building to breathe and simultaneously provide a safe and secure environment for learning and social engagement.  

brooks + scarpa
image © brooks + scarpa

 

 

the school was designed on an extremely limited budget with an aggressive schedule; yet, despite all this, brooks + scarpa managed to create a simple, cost effective and beautiful design that satisfies functional requirements. the design combines the effects of cladding, color and transparency to provide a bright moment in the inner city community, where seldom such attention id given to beautiful spaces and architecture.

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

 

 

open-air, light-filled halls and classrooms help express the school’s values and mission to provide a healthy and sustainable learning environment for its students. the perforated, anodized aluminum façade of the building creates an ever-changing screen that sparkles with the sunlight in the day. it also provides shade to the building and reduces noise, all while still allowing views, natural light and ventilation.


image © tara wujcik

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

brooks + scarpa
image © brooks + scarpa

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

brooks + scarpa
image © tara wujcik

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